I recently got Botox for the first time...
Those stubborn forehead lines. Always there. Always an annoyance. Always something I noticed. Not something even the best foundation could fix.
I had been thinking about Botox for a while, but never fully committed for the mere fact that I was scared AF. What if I can't move my eyebrows? What if something goes wrong? What if I hate it?...and a million other questions that would run sprints through my mind every time I gave it a thought.
Then I met the team at Pincus Plastic Surgery, and here we are.
As someone who was so hesitant to pull the trigger on Botox, I wanted to share my first-hand experience with you in hopes of answering some of your most common questions and concerns. Ultimately, it was one of the easiest experiences I could have hoped for and I absolutely love the natural results. (Head over to my Botox story highlight on Instagram for a more in-depth Q&A and the full procedure for more!)
First-Time Botox: My Personal Experience
WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO GET BOTOX?
Speaking honestly, I made the decision to get Botox purely for vanity reasons. My forehead lines (the area I was most concerned with), although not deep-seated, were one of those things I couldn't help but notice every time I looked in a mirror, did my makeup up close, looked at myself in photos, etc.
Being in my early 30s, Botox seemed like the most practical consideration to smooth out the fine lines, and feel more confident.
HOW DID YOU FIND A DOCTOR YOU TRUSTED?
My first priority hands down with any type of injectables was to find a trusted doctor with plenty of experience, and results I could physically see of past patients. Although Botox is very common, I still took the process of deciding on a doctor very seriously.
I connected with Dr. Pincus from Pincus Plastic Surgery in Smithtown, LI and immediately felt at ease with his high level of experience, professionalism and bedside manner. One of the leading plastic surgeons on Long Island, Dr. Pincus is an award winning & board-certified Plastic Surgeon who specialized in reconstructive procedures. Botox seemed like a walk in the park to the regular work he does, so I felt very comfortable and confident in my decision to see him (side note, his staff is just as wonderful).
DID IT HURT?
This was by far your most-asked question and the answer is a resounding NO! Of course, it's important to note that everyone's level of pain tolerance is different, and at the end of the day, it's still an injection. That said, Botox needles are hair-thin and the pain was no more than the pinch of plucking an eyebrow hair.
A few of you asked the pain level from 1-10. Truly felt nothing on my crows feet, so that would be a 0. On my forehead, maybe a 1-1.5 (just a tiny pinch). The nurse described the pain as potentially feeling like a quick, short bee sting, which I didn't even personally experience.
The nurse did offer me a topical numbing cream because she knew I was nervous being that it was my first time. It absolutely helped calm the nerves, but in hindsight I would've been just fine without it.
*Update: I have not used a numbing cream since my first appointment and the pain level is exactly the same...non-existent!
HOW MUCH BOTOX DID YOU GET?
I personally got 30 units throughout my crow's feet, forehead and 11's (space between eyebrows). I made this decision based on the recommendation of Dr. Pincus, after telling him that I wanted it to look very natural and minimal. I still have total movement (I can raise my eyebrows, I can look surprised) but the lines are simply no longer there.
I have very sensitive skin and did not react whatsoever to the injections. It's common to have small raised bumps at the injection site, but they typically dissipate quickly. By the time I left the doctor's office, no one would've known that I just had a Botox injection.Of course, it's important to remember that everyone's skin type is different. I recommend talking to your doctor if you have any concerns about this topic.
WHAT IS THE COST OF BOTOX?
The cost of Botox varies from doctor to doctor. Some doctors choose to price Botox treatments per area of the face (ie: $X to treat your forehead), while others simply price per unit. On average, each single unit of Botox costs between $10-$15. For 30 units of Botox, the average cost range is $300-$450.
Q's for the Doc
Dr. Pincus was kind enough to offer his expertise and answer a handful of questions that you sent in! You can watch the full video Q&A on my Botox story highlight here, or check out the summary below!
WHEN IS THE "RIGHT TIME" TO GET BOTOX?
In order to be eligible to get Botox, you have to have muscle movement or fine lines (essentially, something to treat with Botox). Beyond that, it's simply a personal decision, as everyone ages differently. There is no "right age" that someone "should" get Botox!
HOW OFTEN DO YOU NEED TO MAINTAIN BOTOX AND WHAT HAPPENS WHEN IT WEARS OFF?
3-6 months is a common timeline for Botox, and that range really depends on both personal preference and how each body metabolizes the Botox. You do not need any touch-ups in between that period. Typically, those who maintain Botox will get injections 2-4 times per year.
The great thing about Botox is that if you choose to get it once, and then never again, that's completely fine. Over time, the Botox will wear off, your muscles will regain movement and your fine lines will come back (no worse than before you had Botox).
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO SEE THE EFFECTS OF BOTOX?
7-10 days is a common timeline for seeing the full results of Botox. Some patients notice it start to take effect within 24-48 hours, others may not see a difference for a full week, which is completely normal.
WHAT ARE THE MAIN DIFFERENCES BETWEEN BOTOX AND FILLER?
Simply put, Botox is typically used to treat areas of the face from the eyes up, while filler is used to treat areas on the face below the eyes. There are of course grey areas, but this is a great general tip to remember.
Botox works by paralyzing the muscles surrounding dynamic wrinkles to reduce their appearance, while fillers plump up or "fill in" areas of the face and help restore volume loss.
It's important to note that Botox does not erase wrinkles, rather it stops certain muscles from contracting that deepens them, resulting in a smooth finish. Any static wrinkles present at rest, will not dissapear with Botox.
WHAT IS REQUIRED FOR POST-CARE AFTER BOTOX INJECTIONS?
Make sure to keep the area clean; wash with soap and water, try to avoid sleeping directly on your face the first night, and avoid working out the day of your injections to give the Botox time to settle. It's also recommended to ice the area (I did this while I was watching TV that night on and off for an hour of 2). After 24 hours, you can put makeup on, and resume all regular activity.
I am so glad I made the decision to get Botox and plan to continue regular Botox injections going forward. I couldn't have asked for a more positive experience, and my results have definitely given me that little confidence boost that was lacking before.
If you're wanting to get Botox but are hesitant like I was, my best recommendation is to do your research and to not settle on a doctor until you've found someone you're beyond confident in, or who comes highly recommended.
For my LI or NYC-area girls, Dr. Pincus is right in Smithtown. Dr. Pincus himself, his staff, the experience as a whole, exceeded my expectations and I'm beyond happy to have found a great doctor who I can recommend and continue to see! If you're in the area, you can mention my name for $50 your Botox treatment. first time botox
Into skincare? See more posts and read about my routine here!